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Shell and Exxon’s €5bn problem: gas drilling that sets off earthquakes and wrecks homes

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Screen Shot 2015-10-10 at 17.11.17Groningen has been one of Europe’s richest gas fields for 30 years, and thousands of people say their homes have been damaged by the tremors that drilling sets off. Now a class action may finally bring them compensation – and force a rethink of European energy security

Highlights from an article by Lucas Amin Published Saturday, 10 October 2015

  • A life-threatening earthquake reaching magnitude 4 or 5 on the Richter scale is possible and could strike at any moment.  

  • The scandal has already cost Shell and Exxon Mobil €1.2bn and the bill for repairing properties and safeguarding against future damage could cost a further €30bn.

  • Before Shell and Exxon’s joint venture company NAM started operations, Groningen had no history of seismic activity.

  • Since then, nearly a thousand earthquakes up to 3.6 on the Richter have shaken Groningen resulting in more than 50,00 damage complaints. 

  • The Dutch authorities could be held criminally accountable. 


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